Something dangerous and ominous is headed my way, folks. I'm not sure how to describe it other than to refer to it as a tsunami, pulling back away from the shore and tearing up in preparation of crashing against me at maximum speed. It's eerie, horrific, and there's no where to hide.

That's right. I'm referring to adulthood.

I'm a rising junior in college. I'm 20, and nearing 21. Maybe that sounds young, but this is essentially my last summer at home. I'm approaching my third year knowing my degree and knowing concretely what my extracurricular involvement is. I pay for almost everything myself, I feel solid in my ways as an individual, and I'm in what feels like my first real relationship. It's a lot to take in and as I continue to grow, I'm feeling pretty torn between excitement and dread.

Just for fun, here's me at 5:

See that? That look in my eyes? That's a wonderful combination of innocence and skepticism for the future. Only the latter remains.

I mentioned excitement, so let's start with that. Starting up another year in school means I'm one step closer to graduating and thus one step closer to adulthood. I'm excited to soon live on my own. Of course, it's a stressful concept but think about all the planning and control! It's my space with my rules and my decor. That's the dream. Furthermore, I'm headed straight for the professional world. I'm so close to being able to put what I've learned and my passions to work and there's nothing more exciting than that when growing up.

However, as I said, this is my last full summer at home with my mother and that's intimidating. Next summer, I'll be abroad for over a month, studying and gradually understanding what it means to be truly on my own and self sustainable. So, this is it. I have two weeks left at home before starting junior year, and maybe this is the last time I'll feel an ounce of that child-like innocence and dependence that fades with adulthood.

The thing is, the future is scary. Each year of my life has been so starkly different from the last that it's hard to look forward without anticipating another potentially unwanted transition. I know that sooner rather than later, I'll be what we'll call a "real adult" and I'll be completely in charge of my own life. As the next two weeks fly by, I am trying to end this ongoing feeling of being torn between ecstatic and fearful. My goal is to stay excited for the things to come while also holding on to the joy of adolescence.

Good luck this fall, friends. Prepare for school and the incoming tsunami that is adulthood, but join me in this strive towards consistent excitement for the future.